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The object of investing in numismatics is to seek Capital Appreciation, not in the strict accounting terms of cost plus profit, but in financial terms of cost plus profit adjusted by inflation. For  example, if my cost for an item at the time of purchase is $1000 and I sell it later for $1100 that is 10% profit or capital gain. I made $100 on my initial investment, by strict accounting terms. However, during this same period of time inflation climbed 6%. So, my real return on investment is only $34 or 3.4%

Numismatic Investing is very different than Precious Metals Hedging or Numismatic Collecting. The strategy requires discipline, patience, a budget ear-marked specifically for investment grade numismatics and a working relationship with a professional numismatist. Most important the investor is aware that numismatic investing is a long term objective--namely, 15 to 20 years to fully realize capital appreciation. Thus, only items that meet certain criteria should be selected for your portfolio. 

Seek out material for your portfolio that is:
  • lowest mintages relative to the issue, in the highest grade your budget allows. These are typically called 'key dates'.
  • lower mintages in exceptionally high grade (not-typical for the series). These are referred to as 'semi-key dates'.
  • avoid common dates, even in high grade. There are certain exceptions for certified MS66-70 issues. Consult your numismatist first.
  • avoid bullion (it's a hedging product).
  • avoid certified graded bullion, unless the mintage is extremely low.**
**Certified Graded Bullion - this genre of products is a fairly recent addition to the coin arena (under 20 years).  Bullion items normally come from the mint in pristine condition, at least MS or Pf 69. They do not circulate, and it has to be pristine to resell it at full price; otherwise, it is sold for scrap.  Furthermore, these products are highly promoted, which could add extra costs. It is of the opinion of this writer that to pay extra to certify bullion, is not in keeping with the objective of investment.

Caveat Emptor -- If you see it on a shopping channel or advertised in a magazine that is not a publication for the numismatic trade, It Does Not Belong In Your Investment Portfolio!